The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday filed a chargesheet naming five people in connection with the theft and export of seized iron ore from Belikeri port.
The people named in the chargesheet are then port officer in Karwar captain Swamy, deputy port conservator of Belekeri Port Mahesh Biliye, then assistant conservator of forests (ACF) of Ankola Sub-division Narendra Hittalamakki, then range forest range officer (RFO) of Ankola Chandrakant Nayak and managing director of Greentex Mining Industries Ajay Kharbanda. The CBI framed charges against the five accused under sections 120 (b) and 420 of IPC and sections 13 (2), 13(1) (c) and (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI chargesheet stated the accused had hatched a conspiracy and exported 34,555.06 metric tonnes of iron ore from Belikeri port.
The quantity exported was part of iron ore seized by the Forest Department and handed over to the port authorities for safe custody.
The Lokayukta police had conducted a raid at Belikeri port in February, 2010 and seized documents and computers.
A case was registered by the Forest Department and iron ore stored in the port area was seized. In June that year, it was found that a large portion of the seized iron ore was stolen from the port and exported.
In this particular case, Greentex Mining Industries had filed a writ petition before the Karnataka High Court after the seizure of iron ore.
The High Court had directed officials of the Custom Department and port conservator to permit the export of seized iron ore for which the clearance of the Forest Department had been obtained.
The CBI probe revealed that none of the seized iron ore was verified by the Forest Department authorities and iron ore was transported in the garb of complying with the High Court’s directions.
The CBI had registered the case in September 2012 on the directions of Supreme Court.
The agency had arrested captain Swamy, Biliye, Hittalamakki and Nayak during the investigation and all are in judicial custody.